The Lord does not view welfare as mankind does. We think of it more in terms of “handout” when much of the time God views it as “hand up”. Even able bodied poor people should not be allowed to escape the curse of Adam’s sin. Gen. 3:17-19 “And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” God expects those who can work to work and He calls His people to assist Him by providing the less fortunate opportunities to obey God and maintain self respect. Here’s God’s welfare plan on display:
1. Plant the entire field, including the corners.
Lev. 23:22 “And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not make clean riddance of the corners of thy field when thou reapest, “
2. Leave the excess in the field.
“neither shalt thou gather any gleaning of thy harvest:”
3. Provide opportunity more often than help.
“thou shalt leave them unto the poor, and to the stranger: I am the LORD your God.”
LESSON - The field is not ours, but God’s. He brought the harvest, not us. He blesses us with the ability to provide opportunities for those who need it to provide for themselves. The best example of this in scripture is the story of Boaz & Ruth in Ruth Chapter 2ff. Be generous, but discerning in your benevolent endeavors. You want those whom you assist (not help) to glorify God, not you.